Northern Irish First Minister Peter Robinson resigns
The First Minster of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson, who has made homophobic comments in the past, has resigned.
The politician succeeded ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ founder Ian Paisley as DUP leader in 2008, and continued the party’s strong opposition to LGBT equality.
In a crisis created by Mr Robinson’s resignation, the DUP’s Arlene Foster has stepped in as interim First Minister.
He resigned as allegations arose from police that the IRA still exists, and when the DUP was defeated in a vote to suspend the Northern Irish assembly for emergency talks.
The DUP has blocked same-sex marriage at Stormont four times, filing a petition of concern to block the move yet again last month, despite pending equality in the Republic of Ireland.
Mr Robinson was caught making vile homophobic comments on television earlier this year.
After a DUP councillor said that homosexuality should be illegal earlier this year, Mr Robinson refused to punish him.
He claimed: “He’s entitled to that opinion. That’s not the DUP policy… but he’s entitled to his views.”
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Mr Robinson also defended former Health Minister Jim Wells, who claimed that gay parents are more likely to abuse children.
The DUP leader claimed Mr Wells was just having a bad day when he made the claim – despite a string of homophobic comments in the past.
He has also attacked the enforcement of equality laws – claiming it is “bonkers” to take action against a bakery that refused to make a ‘gay’ cake and calling for a law that would allow religious people to discriminate.
His wife Iris Robinson – herself a former MP – is notoriously homophobic, claiming that homosexuality an “abomination” that makes her feel “sick and nauseous”.
She also compared homosexuality to child abuse, claiming: “I cannot think of anything more sickening than a child being abused. It is comparable to the act of homosexuality. I think they are all comparable. I feel totally repulsed by both.”
Mrs Robinson withdrew from public life after it was exposed that she was cheating on her husband with a 19-year-old